I didn't think to look for the special viewing glasses until the weekend and by then it was too late - no one seemed to have any for sale in our town. Also, the weather forecast was predicted to be partly cloudy, so I didn't think we'd get to see it. But Monday morning we had mostly clear blue skies, so Allie, who was still home, searched online for how to make an eclipse viewer, and before you knew it, she'd crafted our handy-dandy cereal box viewer:
I love that we went old-school with this!
We watched the NASA feed online and saw totality in Idaho, which was pretty amazing. We kept going outside to test our viewer, and finally, we started to see the eclipse inside of it:
(click on the picture to see it better)
You stood with your back to the sun; the image would come through the pinprick in the foil and project onto the bottom of the box, where you would see it via the hole cut in the top.
I got a fantastic look at it when it went behind the clouds - I glanced up and saw it for a few seconds! Because it was in the clouds, I took a couple of pictures with my phone (I'd heard that taking a picture of it directly could damage your camera lens) - and I got it in one of the shots:
(again, click to see it)
I have to say, this was pretty exciting to see in person - and shortly after we started seeing it, Sam started texting pictures as well (he lives in North Carolina, so they had something like 94% totality). Here's my favorite of the pictures Sam sent:
He has an eclipse nose ring!
After we were finished, I went on Facebook and saw posts from friends all over the country who were sharing their pictures. It was such a great feeling to realize that for once, most of my fellow countrymen were united in a positive experience - after all, what negative thing can you possibly say about a total solar eclipse, except that you might have had bad weather and couldn't see it? With all of the divisiveness and negativity that the United States has been going through this year, it felt good see the collective enthusiasm for something so pure in nature.
Allie and I
I got to spend the eclipse with one of my kadults in person, and with another via text. I got to see many people reveling in the beauty of the show that science and nature provided for free - and I was aware enough to appreciate it. I needed this. I think our country did, too.